Trail signs, Rock Creek Park - Washington DC
Bridal paths were a part of Rock Creek Park from the beginning around 1900, but the system of paths and bridges was greatly expanded during the New Deal. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built more than two miles of bridle paths as part of various works done in Rock Creek Park (as well as in Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway). All such work was done under supervision of the National Park Service, which had gained oversight of all DC parks in 1933.
The Public Works Administration (PWA) paid for the replacement of eight bridges that had been washed away in a flood on Rock Creek in the early 1930s (Washington Post 1933). The new bridges were built in 1934-35. Five of those are in Rock Creek Park: Rapids Footbridge, Rolling Meadow Footbridge, Riley Spring Footbridge, Bluff Footbridge and Boundary Footbridge.
A 1939 PWA report provides more information on the bridges: “The…bridges in Rock Creek Park, constructed by the National Park Service, are typical of the advance in small-bridge design in our national parks. They are constructed of concrete and stone with wood handrails.” (Short & Stanley-Brown 1939)
Civilian Conservation Corps Activities in the National Capital Region of the National Park Service, National Capital Parks-Central, Washington, DC, HABS DC-858.https://lcweb2.loc.gov/master/pnp/habshaer/dc/dc1000/dc1020/data/dc1020data.pdf
Short, C. W. and R. Stanley-Brown, 1939. Public Buildings: A Survey of Architecture of Projects Constructed by Federal and Other Governmental Bodies Between the Years 1933 and 1939 with the Assistance of the Public Works Administration. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
“District gets $325,000 fund for building,” Washington Post, September 8, 1933, p. 22
Zack Spratt, Rock Creek Bridges, Records of the Columbia Historical Society, 53-56 (1959).
Project originally submitted by Richard A Walker on December 5, 2011.
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